Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), the conglomerate controlled by Saudi Arabian prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, has acquired a 6.8% stake in UK-listed fund group M&G.
Filings published to the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday show the Riyadh-based company bought SAR 1bn (£224m) worth of shares in the FTSE 100 firm.
KHC said the investment was in line with its strategy of backing global market leaders and “diversifies [its] exposure in new and promising sectors”.
M&G declined to comment on the investment.
KHC is majority owned by Bin Talal, the Saudi prince and billionaire, who was targeted in a corruption crackdown in 2017. A well-known Wall Street investor, Bin Talal has investments in JD.com, Uber, Lyft and Twitter via KHC. He also owns a meaningful stake in Citigroup, having first invested in the bank in the 1990s.
In May, he sold 16.8% of his stake in KHC to Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund. A grandson of the first Saudi Arabian monarch, King Ibn Saud, Bin Talal is nephew to former ruler King Abdullah Saud who died in 2015.
M&G’s share price rose 1.4% to £2.15 on Thursday morning before drifting back down to £2.13. Compared to peers, which have suffered steep share price losses, shares in M&G are up 2% year-to-date.
Confirmation of a £500m share buyback programme has helped, as has its attractive dividend yield, with investors desperately hunting for income.
CEO John Foley (pictured) said, including dividends, the group has returned £1.8bn to shareholders since de-merging from Prudential in 2019.
M&G reported £370bn worth of assets at the end of 2021, broadly flat compared to the year before. Its retail funds continued to suffer redemptions, with clients pulling £3.8bn, though this was an improvement on 2020 when redemptions hit an eye watering £11.9bn
Its interim results are due out on 11 August.
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